After an overtime win in 2018, Minneapolis came in to Friday night’s clash with league-foe Sacred Heart looking for a feat.
The Lions hadn’t beaten the Knights in consecutive seasons in over 15 years. However, Friday night, the Lions did just that with a 54-7 win over Sacred Heart.
Minneapolis didn’t waste time early, as the Lions held Sacred Heart to a three-and-out. When the Lions possessed the ball for the first time, a Daniel Watson run of 33 yards got Minneapolis close to the goal line. Crew Martin tacked off the drive with a two yard run to give MHS the 7-0 lead.
With Minneapolis leading 14-0 at the start of the second quarter, Sacred Heart saw momentum swing its way when an MHS miscue on a punt gave the Knights great starting field position at the 40 of Minneapolis.
The Knights capitalized with a 36 yard pass from Mac Hemmer to Landon Power. Hemmer scored on the next play to make the game 14-7.
That’s when Minneapolis seized control. The Lions drove the ball downfield quickly and capped off the drive with a 10 yard Gannon Cleveland touchdown run at the 7:56 mark in the second quarter to make it 21-7, Minneapolis.
For the second week in-a-row, Minneapolis was pinned deep at its own one yard line with a little more than three minutes remaining before halftime. The Lions drove downfield quickly and capped a 99 yard drive in under three minutes with a 22 yard touchdown pass from Derek Freel to John Nelson.
Minneapolis wasn’t done before halftime though. After a Sacred Heart turnover, Minneapolis’ Freel found Nelson again, this time for 23 yards, and the Lions broke the game open, 35-7 at halftime.
The Minneapolis defense played fantastic all night and completely shut the Knights down in the second half, holding Sacred Heart to just 18 total yards in the half.
The Lions tacked on three second half touchdowns, while shutting out Sacred Heart to come away with the win.
Sacred Heart (0-2, 0-2 NCAA) had a nice night from its linebacker, Ethan Buckner found himself in on several tackles for the Knights.
Minneapolis (2-0, 2-0 NCAA) starts its year at 2-0 for the second-straight year. It was also the first time the Lions beat the Knights in consecutive seasons in over 15 years.
Top performers for Minneapolis include Watson with over 100 yards rushing, Martin with three touchdowns on 65 yards rushing, and Nelson with two touchdown catches. The Minneapolis defense as a whole also held Sacred Heart to below 150 yards of total offense.
Up next, Sacred Heart travels to Ellsworth to take on the unbeaten Bearcats next Friday. Coverage is on FM 104.9. Meanwhile, it’s rivalry week for Minneapolis as the Lions hit the road to Beloit (1-1). The Lions and Trojans can be heard live on 92.7 The New Zoo.
*PHOTOS BY TANNER COLVIN*